Citizens across America increasingly hear it from Republican Trumpers, “Washington is Broken‼️ It’s dysfunctional‼️” echoed by alt-right radio and cable media . . . and therefore, for die-hard Trumpers, it must be true. But it’s never the fault of Republicans – never is. It’s always the other(s), right?
For example, the fact that, as of October 23, 2023, the Republican Party had not voted on the Speaker of the House was not their fault! It was the Democrats who caused what Bess Levin called, “Republicans Are Blaming Democrats for the Shitshow Dumpster Fire of Their Own Making.” (Vanity Fair October 18, 2023).
Oh how Trumpers live and believe in the psychosis of “projection.” Trumpers are masters of this psychological ploy and disease. It’s easy to acquire and always available. It does not require any critical thinking, education, intelligence or moral clarity.
All you need is a finger to point. It also helps to feign anger, repeat and scream out grievances ad nauseam. The bravado and drama is part of the gig. By the way, it helps to have gerrymandered districts dominated by Trumpers in order to maintain the power and recycle the “projection.”
So is Washington really broken or is it about Republican Trumpism shifting blame on the collective legislative noun called Washington and governing?
I posit that only one party is, not only broken, but psychologically damaged and diseased.
We don’t have to be psychologists or psychiatrists to see and hear all of the dimensions of what is called, in psychological terms, “Projection” – a psychosis that Republican Trumpers use as an ideology – a means to avoid governing, responsibility, accountability and to desperately hold on to power.
Let’s not understate “desperation” given the stark reality of declining and growing generational demographics, as well as facing the highly complex realities of the 21st century that will require ADULT maturity, emotional intelligence, moral courage, focused experienced leadership and wisdom that can achieve consensus and collaboration on behalf of all Americans – if not the world.
Projection is an easy way to keep the “Me Myself and I” squeaky-clean from any personal responsibility, avoiding making difficult decisions, not compromising in order to solve challenging problems and not being accountable for consequences. It’s like being an elementary school child on steroids during recess.
In other words, Republican Trumpers are “Me Monsters”, focused on achieving power and once achieved, maintaining it at all costs, regardless of the price to American citizens.
It’s always interesting, extraordinarily sad – truly sorrowful – to realize that the loyal followers of Republican Trumpism – all those folks wanting their country back, don’t matter to their leaders. These blind-faith supporters are but the latest versions of political consumables – political collateral damage.
All Autocracies eventually eat their own – particularly when the political ship begins to sink and the rats begin to jump ship.
The irony being that Trumpers are promoted to be true and loyal patriots – authentic Americans – all others blamed for what is, and was wrong with America. We have all heard the antiquated grievances.
“It’s all going to hell in a hand basket and not my fault!” “It’s those immigrants, all those border people, those gay people, the Jews, feminists, trans, blacks, asians, non-Christians, those know-it-all college elites, liberals, Obama’s fault . . . (* Hillary Clinton slowly losing her Projection cred)
As per Psychology Today, “Psychological Projection is a defense mechanism where an individual attributes their own unacceptable thoughts, feelings, behavior or motives to another person. In doing so, they defend themselves against their own unconscious impulses, characteristics, attitudes or qualities by denying their existence in themselves and attributing them to others.”
So, is Republican Trumpism only a damaged political ideology? I posit that Projection is a Republican Trumpism psychosis. I would add to the disease – pathological lying, name-calling, over-inflated sense of self-importance, displaying signs of disfuntionality, instability and chaos, constantly seeking attention, compulsively manipulating reality, shameless narcism and being “blame-o-holics.”
As children, most of us witnessed “Projection” during elementary, junior high or high school. We saw it happen with our own eyes in classrooms, hallways, playgrounds and locker rooms. But we did not know the origin. Some of us were even the victims.
It typically involved insecure wannabe “kings and queens” scorning, belittling and victimizing in front of an audience. The bully, by word and action, manipulating and trying to control the stage, causing confusion, disruption, division, chaos, conflict and needless lingering pain.
In reality, the bully was displacing his/her own feelings of inadequacy and insecurity onto the victim. Bullies were often damaged children, from damaged families, not knowing what to do with their pent up damage.
Unfortunately, some middle school bullies become adults – even graduate from elite boarding, independent and Ivy League schools. Some even become president, senators and congress men and women. The spaces and times shift, but the Projection psychosis continues.
Projection is a major defense mechanism (including denial, repression, displacement, regression, rationalization and sublimation) dealing with uncomfortable feelings and perceptions of others.
Upon projecting our feelings, we are misattributing them unto another person or group. For example, we may have been taught to dislike or fear certain people because of their race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion or politics.
Instead of accepting the fact that such feelings are a matter of learned intolerance, -isms and/or phobias, we choose to tell ourselves that the prejudices are justified and that they (those other people unlike us) feel the same about us.
Acknowledging and owning our failures, bad choices, dysfunctions and consequences is a heavy psychological lift for each of us as citizens and human beings. The easy answer is to create a scapegoat – the lamb sacrificed in order to atone for our sins.
“Blame-shifting” becomes a problem when it becomes a political ideology and strategy. What it does is to prevent, and block progress and change for the greater good. It can paralyze a society.
Conversely, our Democracy requires the Legislative, Executive and Judicial branches to work together in order to continue to authenticate and validate the Constitution, Rule of Law and protection of Inalienable Rights. All three may not always agree on issues and policies, but the oath of each member is to the people – not their party or ego(s).
All human beings – citizens face psychological challenges trying to establish some emotional equilibrium – some emotional intelligence and moral clarity. I’m still working on deconstructing my social-cultural-political-religious constructs – on a daily basis! It’s hard looking into that HD mirror with honesty and admit to our imperfections and the reasons why.
I believe that the basic understanding, that all human beings are highly complex psychologically, should cause pause to reflect on our personal views, values, attitudes, behavior, thinking and daily language.
How did we become the person we are? Who were the models in our lives that provided the influences and experiences?
It’s an arduous process to search our own past and find the reasons, causes and trauma for personal misfortunes, failures and consequences.
“Mea culpa” are two powerful words. That is, when said with veracity. “Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa” the first steps in dealing with the necessary changes that introspection and reflection often require.
“Mea culpa”, if not meant with intention and motivation to change, are but words in the wind, regardless of saying them once, twice or thrice . . . even while kneeling or lighting a candle.
It’s the change(s) that follow in mind, heart, spirit and action that determine “Mea Culpa’s” authenticity and truth. The actions behind the words also provide an “apology”, an “admission” and a “declaration” to not repeat the needless wrongs blamed on others.
The “mea” takes personal ownership and responsibility – the “culpa” clarifies the guilt. Projecting – blaming others only prevents us from our power to grow and change for the better. The aftermath of “Mea Culpa” does not shame, but rather liberates, heals and empowers – only if followed by the truth.
The difficult process of introspection and reflection that we ask of ourselves in order to improve as human beings, should be the same that we expect from a political candidate and political party. If not, how many uncomfortable truths are we willing to live with – as a citizen and human being?
The challenge remains to do our due diligence about ourselves first – and then our due diligence on the character of each candidate and party – before we walk into the voting booth.
Will you vote for a candidate and party that continuously uses scapegoating, shifting blame, acting as capricious-self-serving children, insulting your intelligence and ethics? Will you vote to continuously foster a delusional, damaged, toxic, psychotic ideology based on obstruction, nihilism, extremism, hopelessness and Projection?
OR . . .
Will you vote for someone who, is not perfect because no human is, but will tell you the uncomfortable truth and ask you to not only ask what America has done for you,
but what you will do for your country?
Will you vote for a candidate that will talk, act and legislate as an adult with credibility and trust?
Will you vote for a candidate and party that articulates and faces with honesty
the highly complex local, national and global problems of the 21st century?
Will you vote for a candidate and party that governs through
Democratic principles, rule of law and norms?
Will you vote for a candidate and party diligently working as a true delegate of the people,
honoring and respecting your vote and their oath to you?
Will you vote for hope . . . the promise of tomorrow
that is ever present in a Democracy?